The AKC Canine Health Foundation: Advancing the Health of Your Dogs – and You


Did you know that the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) is the largest funder of health research exclusively for dogs…in the world? That’s right, in the world.

And, did you know that CHF is also committed to a new forefront in veterinary and medical research, known as One Health? One Health recognizes the connection between the health of people, animals, and the environment. This means CHF is advancing the health of your dog, while also investing in outcomes to advance your health, too.

Created in 1995 by the American Kennel Club (AKC), CHF’s mission is to advance the health of all dogs and their people, and to provide health information to prevent, treat and cure canine disease. As an independent affiliate of the AKC, the Foundation funds high-quality, humane canine health research. It also supports the next generation of canine health researchers and reproductive medicine specialists and provides valuable resources for you as a dog owner and breeder. CHF does all this and meets and exceeds industry standards for fiscal responsibility, as demonstrated by their highest four-star Charity Navigator rating and GuideStar Platinum seal.

“CHF collaborates with veterinarians, researchers, dog clubs and breeders, and dog lovers to address the health needs of all dogs across their lifetime,” says Diane Brown, DVM, PhD, DACVP, CHF’s Chief Executive Officer. “Through canine health research grants, educational grants, and numerous veterinary outreach programs, CHF brings scientists and dog lovers together to ensure a healthier future for the dogs that enrich our lives.”

The canine health research grants program is the cornerstone of CHF. A rigorous scientific review process ensures that CHF-funded projects have the greatest potential for advancing the health of dogs and make the best use of your and other donors’ contributions. Grants are reviewed for scientific merit, impact in the field of study, and their relevance and significance to dogs and their people. Through 23 defined research program areas (see below), CHF responds to areas of unmet need and immediate opportunities to apply recent advancements in science and technology to canine health research.

AKC Canine Health Foundation Research Program Areas


  Lung and Respiratory Disease

  Blood Disorders

  Musculoskeletal Conditions and Disease



  Clinician-Scientist Fellowship Program

  Oncology – General

  Dermatology and Allergic Disease

  Oncology – Hemangiosarcoma


  Oncology – Lymphoma

  Epilepsy Initiative

  Oncology - Osteosarcoma

  Gastrointestinal Disease


  General Canine Health

  Reproductive Conditions

  Hepatic Disease

  Theriogenology Residency Program

  Immunology and Infectious Disease

  Tick-Borne Disease Initiative

  Kidney and Urological Disease


CHF embraces the One Health model as a critical tool to achieve their vision. Dogs and humans share many diseases, and we humans share our environments and lifestyles with our dogs. Canine osteosarcoma, tick-borne diseases, developmental lung disease, degenerative myelopathy, and more share similarities with human disease. CHF seeks to fund health studies that will primarily benefit dogs, and that may also inform human health and disease research. You can find these One Health studies highlighted throughout the CHF Research Grants Portfolio available at

Since its founding in 1995, CHF has:

  • awarded over 900 research grants specifically for canine health.
  • invested more than $44 million dollars in canine health research.
  • contributed to over 750 peer-reviewed publications.
  • been cited in other research more than 26,000 times.

For a list of all peer-reviewed scientific publications resulting from CHF-funded research, please visit

CHF also invests in the future of canine health research, helping to ensure that trained researchers are available to sustain future advancements in science for health. The AKC Canine Health Foundation Clinician-Scientist Fellowship Program provides financial support to veterinary resident and graduate student research projects, focusing on topics across CHF research program areas such as:

  • renal dysplasia in Cairn Terriers.
  • understanding the immune system’s role in cancer to find targets for therapy.
  • regenerative medicine for musculoskeletal disease.
  • genomics of drug hypersensitivity.

Fellows are chosen based on their promise and enthusiasm for pursuing a career in canine health research. Their mentors have a productive history of working with CHF on research to benefit canine health. (Note: You can support this program by adopting a researcher at

CHF also collaborates with the American Kennel Club (AKC) and Theriogenology Foundation (TF) to increase the number of practitioners educated in companion animal theriogenology and clinical genetics. Theriogenology is the branch of veterinary medicine concerned with reproductive health and disease. The AKC/AKC CHF/TF Theriogenology Residency Program provides specialty training in all aspects of companion animal reproductive medicine and surgery, clinical genetics, and clinical practice related to male and female reproduction, obstetrics, and neonatology. This program ensures that highly trained veterinarians are available to support breeders like you, to educate veterinary students, and to help maintain the health of our purpose-bred dogs. You can read about one resident’s successful journey to specialty clinical practice at

An important component of CHF’s mission is sharing its funded discoveries with you, as well as with veterinarians and researchers.

  • Webinars
    Canine Health Bytes
    is a free webinar series sponsored by the AKC Canine Health Foundation and presented by VetVine. It offers practical advice on common health concerns, as well as information on cutting-edge canine research. These webinars provide continuing education credit to veterinary professionals. The full library is available for on-demand viewing at  
  • Infectious Disease Fact sheets
    CHF offers fact sheets at to provide you with the latest information about infectious diseases, such as canine distemper, Chagas Disease, parvovirus, Brucellosis, and more. You, your club, and your veterinarian are invited to download and share these resources.
  • National Parent Club Canine Health Conference
    You can join researchers, veterinary professionals, dog club members, and other dog enthusiasts as they converge at CHF’s biennial National Parent Club Canine Health Conference. Sponsored by Purina, the conference provides a unique opportunity for scientists and Parent Club representatives to interact and discuss the latest discoveries in canine health. Thanks to the generous support of the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the AKC, at least one student from each US veterinary school is invited to attend the conference. This provides an important opportunity for experienced dog breeders, enthusiasts, and researchers to interact with these future practitioners and set the stage for career-long collaboration. Learn more at
  • Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs Initiative
    The increasing numbers of new DNA tests and testing laboratories have made choosing good-quality DNA tests, and providers, a challenge for many of us. Accessing detailed, breed-specific information on genetic traits, including original research and genetic mutation information, is time-consuming and difficult. Therefore, CHF partnered with the International Partnership for Dogs to launch a database to aid in this effort. The database, listing genetic test providers (labs), genetic tests, and tests by breed, is available for everyone at
  • Veterinary Outreach
    CHF and the AKC collaborate to share our work and achievements with veterinary professionals. Through our presence at student and veterinary conferences, articles in veterinary-specific newsletters, and membership and tribute card programs, we encourage veterinary professionals to learn about and show their support for reputable breeders, purpose-bred dogs, and canine health research.

We all want a healthier future for our dogs. Let’s work together to make it a reality! Support the AKC Canine Health Foundation at Explore and use CHF’s educational resources, see how we’re working with our partners and you to facilitate collaboration between breeders and the veterinary community, plus learn more about research that will benefit both you and your dogs at


Help Future Generations of Dogs

Participate in canine health research by providing samples or by enrolling in a clinical trial. Samples are needed from healthy dogs and dogs affected by specific diseases.

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